Genesis 23:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 23:6, NIV: "Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.'"

Genesis 23:6, ESV: "“Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb to hinder you from burying your dead.”"

Genesis 23:6, KJV: "Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead."

Genesis 23:6, NASB: "'Hear us, my lord: you are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead.'"

Genesis 23:6, NLT: "'Listen, my lord, you are an honored prince among us. Choose the finest of our tombs and bury her there. No one here will refuse to help you in this way.'"

Genesis 23:6, CSB: ""Listen to us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in our finest burial place. None of us will withhold from you his burial place for burying your dead.""

What does Genesis 23:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham had approached the Hittite landowners in Hebron with great humility, asking for property to use as a permanent burying place for his people. Most immediately, he needed a place to bury his wife Sarah, who had just died (Genesis 23:1).

Their warm, kind response here echoes the nature of his request to them. Abraham had called himself a sojourner and foreigner. They call him a prince of God or mighty price of God among them. In other words, they do not view Abraham as a mere wanderer; they see him as powerful, blessed by God, and worthy to be among them.

In fact, very generously, they insist that none of them would withhold from Abraham his own tomb for the purpose of burying his people, presumably starting with Sarah. However, their response does not acknowledge Abraham's request for a property of his own. He is not asking to share a tomb; he is asking to acquire a permanent possession, as the following verses will make clear.